Allow me to start this by saying that, not only will NOT follow my usual posting format, as a Spoiler section is not really needed, because this movie is not as much about narrative as it is about experience, and to spoil an experience for something like this is that which I'd rather not do. The narrative isn't that important to the overall film, as I will state why in as rambling a manner as I can muster.
Know, that you MUST SEE this Movie. Or I will hunt you down with a 20 story mecha, and pummel your remains into the Earth.
Now, to start with, this movie is stupid. Horrendously Stupid. It is balls to the wall, silly. However, this is by far the most FUN I've had at the theaters in a very long time.
Not intellectual intrigue, or pretentious fixation kind of fun in the intellectual sense, but just pure, unadulterated, deeply visceral and geeky FUN.
I have never gotten to be able to say that any film in particular, and I hope I can say it more in the future, because if more movies follow this basic protocol of "Have FUN" then we may actually
be able tor really enjoy movies that aren't trying not to trigger synaptic fire.
Word of Warning: If you THINK for one moment too long, you may not enjoy this movie.
Breaking down the movie.
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One: This Movie has amazing casting with little character. Some of the characters are flat and one dimensional, you can really predict a lot of the characters. Desperately so, and if you've seen
ANY Action movie centered on a government organization you have seen this movie. But God DAMN was it fun to watch these characters. They had just enough problems to keep us involved in their stories, while not being too interesting beyond a surface layer. However, some characters were more interesting. For instance, my favorite characters, and in my opinion the most developed, were Mako, who looks like Faith from Mirror's Edge, and the General Pentecost, or as I remember him "General Badass".
A lot of the casting choices are actually really underground actors, or at leas they aren't famous enough that I recognized them, except for Charlie Day from It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, and Ron Perlman makes a fun appearance as a gangster and scavenger character who actually is important.
Even some of the background character designs are absolutely fun to look at, like a highly caricatured duo of Russians, both with bleach blonde Drago hair, and is rocking a beautiful black beard, for this weird whiplash on the sight of him.
Even though I claim that the characters aren't that interesting, the way that they structure how the robots work, through neural interface and the concept of "the drift", where memories and sensations are experienced between partners, means that you actually can feel a lot of the chemistry between the characters develop, but just not show a steady bond, which is actually quite clever on the part of the writers given the premise because it gives us far more time to devote to the giant Monster fights over petty "Character development", and all that. That is not what we're about here for Pacific Rim. And that is what makes it special.
Two: The fight scenes were fun to watch, and were AMAZING, and are honestly, what obviously was given the most effort over the entire film, and friendships may be made and broken over which fight scene was your favorite because of the sheer amazing that nearly all of them have. These were what we all came to see it for, what it was made for, and I honestly was squeeing half the time, from the sheer scale and wonderfully silly beauty that these fights have. At one point, they even start doing things as if it came out of a Mecha Anime or a Sentai Series, especially thanks due to the setting having a case of gratuitous Japanese. I don't want to explain these, and why they were amazing. I can't. I might not even do it in the spoilered editions of my musings, because you NEED TO SEE THESE.
They are works of geeky art! I sat there wondering after one of them "Can they top this? I think not, this one scene won the movie for me." And Then, while failing to beat my expectation managed to Challenge it with a wonderful show of amazingly silly force!
These fights are what Micheal Bay believes he does in his movies, what he wants to do in his movies, but is actually done RIGHT.
Actually, I could easily tear away from my attempt at organization to give that as a fantastic summation of the film.
It's what Micheal Bay thinks that he does, a fun, silly, not that high brow film with amazing special effects, badass characters that are actually funny while managing to straddle a line between
caricature and being believable people.
The effects are gorgeous, though the CGI occasionally felt fake early on with the Kaiju monsters, and the constant night fighting actually creates some very interesting luminous visuals, due to the glowing monsters being given runic symbols and such, which made it an interesting panoply of color and glowing blue blood and such.
They did a lot of interesting things with the setting, with a background of political conflict, world histories and a setting built on reactions to the existence of Kaiju, and that influencing events surrounding the defense force and so on, it all had a very believable world, despite points where science decided not to existence, some odd bits of causality that can be inferred about Pacific Rim's take on certain issues of scientific credibility, and generally some wacky things.
This is a movie that one does not nit pick, because to do so, does the zaniness a disservice.
However, the film as a whole manages to invest one enough to care, while focusing on the major center piece, THE RIP AND TEAR.
The setting is interesting enough to be believable, the characters are interesting enough with their various archetypes and fun scenes abounding for each of them, but generally with enough meat to carry them through the entire concept of character development (except, oddly enough, for the "main" protagonist), while the fight scenes are really the center piece of the film and got the most love, with enough around to buoy support and take what could have been a horribly average movie, and by matter of sheer awesome make it a decent movie. If they added more to some of the characters, hell, it could have been a GREAT movie, but it knew what it was.
It was Roland Emerich in scale, Micheal Bay in budget, and just smart enough to be a good popcorn flick without being dull, offensive, or uninteresting. While the beginning can be seen as slow due to exposition concerns.
However, this movie can be nitpicked to pieces, and I did it myself as I was watching it due to odd interplays of science and the limits of believable narrative are stretched at times, it is a simple entity, but a beautifully simple one, unlike most simple movies which fall to eventual blandness. It is very much, actually, like Sentai and Mecha Anime in that regard, it can do beautifully over-complicated, silly things, and be perfectly amazing and embrace that that's what it can be, and what it is.
This is ExtravagantEvil, going Medieval on Bad Movies.
It's almost as if someone added a degree of "grounded reality" to Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagaan.
Pacific Rim, we Love you and always will, because you will never change.